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Jimi Hendrix - Live at the Fillmore East CD (album) cover

LIVE AT THE FILLMORE EAST

Jimi Hendrix

 

Proto-Prog

4.12 | 27 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars This is of course the indispensable companion to ''Band Of Gypsys''.

This double album offers some great live music moments. They were performed at the Fillmore East during New Year's eve and New Year's day. Four concerts in two days.

This testimonial is made of bits and bytes of the four concerts played. Maybe that one day the whole of these concerts will see the light, although it seems that they were maybe not good enough to be released as such (one can get this feeling while listening to the second CD).

Needless to say that the first CD is almost perfect: brilliant set list, fantastic performance (even if here and there some improvisations don't belong to the best ones like during ''Stone Free'' for instance). Still, the opening track (which opened the last of the four concerts) is an excellent start.

The version of ''Power Of Soul'' featured here is superior to the one from ''Band Of Gypsys''. Almost heavy for most of it, it shows a great rhythmic section and a wonderful spirit of unity. Not too bad after a short rehearsal time.

The next song is one of the greatest of the man: '' Hear My Train a Comin''. This song was not released in a studio version while Jimi was still alive (but it will be featured on a posthumous effort: ''Midnight Lighning''). Needless to say that this live version is way better. A formidable orgy of eclectic guitar and maestria. But this was business as usual for the master.

The enchantment goes on with ''Izabella'' (even if the sound is not top notch here, especially at the start of the song). The song is well known from the Woodstock concert (it is featured on Woodstock II). The studio recording will also be posthumous (''War Heroes'' released in '72). It is a vigorous rock moment: speedy and screaming guitar. Perfect.

Another highlight of this double CD set is IMHHO, the version of ''Machine Gun''. An hymn to peace and anti-Vietnam war. A huge heavy blues number. Jimi really makes his guitar turned into a machine gun. But he used us to such extravaganza / maestria already while he was imitating the bomb sounds during his great Woodstock performance. This is a legendary moment of the rock history. No more, no less. But probably difficult to digest for a Hendrix profane (especially the second half).

The trip to heaven goes on again with ''Voodoo Child (Slight Return)''. It is one of my all time fave from the man. This version is just as brilliant as many others. If rock does speak to you, you should really try and listen to this one.

It flows into ''We Gotta Live Together'' which is introduced by Buddy Miles. I have to say that it is my least favourite track of this CD (actually, I don't like it). A soul/funk tune which is mostly a pretext for audience participation.

But to be honest, this first CD is extremely good and belongs to the best live ones Jimi has ever released.

Also to be honest, it has to be said that the second CD is not on par with the first one. It has a more soul approach (''Changes''). Fortunately, there is a long version of ''Machine Gun'' which is illuminating this second CD. Almost fourteen minutes of violent and poignant guitar parts. This version is even superior to the one featured on the first CD. The atmosphere is very oppressive during the second half of the song and should be a perfect soundtrack. A highlight really.

The rest of the CD is a little disappointing (''Burning Desire'') even if ''Earth Blues'' is again a powerful song very well interpreted. The master displays a brilliant guitar part again. The rhythm is incredible. In one word: excellent. The cover of ''Wild Thing'' also deserves a mention.

For those of you who might be interested, here are the set lists for each of those four concerts:

December 31st, 69 (first show): Power Of Soul, Lover Man, Hear My Train A Comin', Changes, Izabella, Machine Gun, Stop, Ezy Ryder, Bleeding Heart, Earth Blues, Burning Desire

December 31st, 69 (second show): Auld Lang Syne, Who Knows, Stepping Stone, Burning Desire, Fire, Ezy Ryder, Machine Gun, Power Of Soul, Stone Free, Sunshine Of Your Love, Message To Love, Stop, Foxy Lady, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Purple Haze

January 1st, 70 (first show): Who Knows, Machine Gun, Changes, Power Of Soul, Stepping Stone, Foxy Lady, Stop, Hear My Train A Comin', Earth Blues, Burning Desire

January 1st, 70 (second show): Stone Free, Little Drummer Boy, Power Of Soul, Changes, Message To Love, Earth Blues, Machine Gun, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), We Gotta Live Together, Wild Thing, Hey Joe, Purple Haze.

Four stars for this live testimonial.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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